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A US police
officer fatally shot a groundhog after it crossed a road in Maryland last
Sunday.

‘Caught on
video’

The
incident was filmed by Facebook user Justyna Olkowska, and posted on social
media
.

The video
has since been shared nearly 2000 times, and reposted by CBS News.

‘Standoff’

The footage shows a groundhog in front of backed
up traffic in what has been described as a ‘standoff’ with a policeman.

After the officer approached the groundhog a
number of times, the groundhog ran toward him.

The officer drew his gun and shot the animal
once and – after watching it writhe around in pain – shot it a second time.

‘Distraught’

Olkowska expressed
shock
at what had happened, noting that she was left feeling ‘distraught’ after
the event.

She added: “If you’re not an animal lover, you
won’t understand my pain.”

‘Hazard’

Statements from the sheriff’s office indicate
that the officer thought the groundhog was behaving strangely, and that it was ‘creating
a hazard’ by interrupting traffic.

It also said that ‘believing the groundhog to
be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s
safety’ – but made no mention of whether animal aid or animal control organizations were informed prior to the groundhog’s death.

A trained veterinarian told news outlet KARE 11, that were a groundhog running toward her she would simply ‘get out of its way’.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination....